Sergio Pérez Announces Racing Point Exit

Sergio Pérez has announced that he will leave Racing Point at the end of this season.
  • The Mexican driver joined the team in 2014 back when it was known as Force India, after two seasons at Sauber, and one with McLaren.
  • He has achieved five podiums and scored 486 points with the Silverstone-based team, finishing a career best 7th in the drivers' championship in 2016 and 2017.
  • Perez confirmed the news himself via Twitter, fuelling suspicions that his team has lined up 4-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel for 2021.
This evening, Sergio Pérez announced that he would be parting ways with his team of 7 years at the end of the current season. The news has come amidst speculation that Racing Point - which will become Aston Martin from next season - has been trying to sign Sebastian Vettel as the team enter a new era.

The Mexican driver took to Twitter to make his announcement, making it clear that he would stay in Formula One next year should the right opportunity come up:

"I don't have a plan B. My intention is to continue racing here, but that would depend on finding a project that motivates me to continue giving my 100 percent on each lap.

"I hope I can give you some good news real soon, but for now, let's enjoy together the next races."

It would be wrong not to mention the great deal Pérez has done for the team over the years, both on and off track. While the team was in the middle of its financial crisis in 2018, he played a key role in leading the team into the administration process which allowed the takeover that saved many jobs:

"It hurts a bit as I bet on the team during very rough times; we managed to overcome obstacles and I am very proud of saving the jobs of several of my team-mates.
"I'll keep the memories of the great moments lived together, the friendships and the satisfaction of always giving my all. I will always be grateful for the opportunity given to me Vijay Mallya, who believed in me in 2014 and allowed me to continue my F1 career with Force India.
"To the current administration, led by Lawrence Stroll, I wish nothing but the best for the future, specially with the upcoming Aston Martin project."

Racing Point team boss, Otmar Szafnauer thanked Pérez in a statement made later by his team:

"Checo has been part of the Silverstone family for seven years and in that time has become one of the most complete drivers on the grid. Blisteringly quick on Saturday and Sunday, he's established his reputation as a tenacious racer and together we have enjoyed some fantastic moments.
"If there was ever a sniff of a podium, Checo was ready to pounce, and those five podiums represent some of the finest days in the history of this team. Outside of the car, Checo is a true character and a good friend, and it's been a pleasure working with him for such a long time. Although we will say goodbye at the end of the year, there are still nine races to go and plenty of opportunities for Checo to make some more special memories with this team."
In terms of finding out where his career goes from here, it seems that we will need to be patient. There are still seats available on next year's grid, with the more likely suitors being Alfa Romeo or Haas. There is still a free seat at Mercedes, although it is widely expected that Lewis Hamilton will stay on at the Silver Arrows.

As Pérez himself alluded to, should the right opportunity come along, he would be very happy to continue in the sport. He has become a very complete driver with strong qualifying and race pace, able to score points consistently, and would certainly be an asset to both Alfa Romeo and Haas.

What then of his replacement? Vettel is no doubt favourite for the Aston Martin seat, but will likely hold off from signing anything firm until any chance of landing a drive with Mercedes has well and truly gone. Watch this space.

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Charlie Lockwood

RaceDepartment Writer
Staff member
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Feb 22, 2016
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This move from RP makes no sense.
Personally I can see both sides of it.

From a performance perspective, it doesn't make much sense. Perez is a known quantity and has given the team a lot over the years. Furthermore, I imagine that Vettel will be a lot more expensive.

That said, I can see the attraction for Lawrence Stroll of having a world champion in the car, who he can use to promote the Aston Martin brand.
 

Salvatore Sirignano

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Nov 21, 2008
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I agree it's better for marketing purposes, but the car will not be a front runner, I would venture. And we know how bad Vettel's decision making and race craft seems to have become, so I would expect a lot of incidences of him crashing into fellow midfield cars left right and centre...
 

gamer19

2000RPM
Aug 28, 2012
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Hey, you know what REALLY shock me (from this article) ?!?

The fact that

THAT fathers son, disputed by many (if not all) Lance Stroll
is ON FOURTH place in championship !!!
omg, what a revelation :laugh:


https://www.motorsport.com/f1/standings/

:roflmao:
he's above Albon in Red Bull, Leclerc in Ferrari, Vettel also in Ferrari,
all the Renaults, McLarens, Alpha Tauris and all them rest there...
wow
way to go Lance boy, way to go :thumbsup:
 

Nick Hill

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Oct 26, 2013
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Checo is a solid driver, but he sorta falls in the middle ground for me. In other words, he doesn't really do a lot to grab my attention either way on an average race weekend. I don't think my overall F1 experience would change much if he was gone. That sounds mean, but just speaking the truth.

Now, if they replace him with, say, Maldonado...now THAT would change the experience! :laugh:
 

Michel Forest

100RPM
Jul 26, 2017
181
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Hey, you know what REALLY shock me (from this article) ?!?

The fact that

THAT fathers son, disputed by many (if not all) Lance Stroll
is ON FOURTH place in championship !!!
omg, what a revelation :laugh:


https://www.motorsport.com/f1/standings/

:roflmao:
he's above Albon in Red Bull, Leclerc in Ferrari, Vettel also in Ferrari,
all the Renaults, McLarens, Alpha Tauris and all them rest there...
wow
way to go Lance boy, way to go :thumbsup:
Thanks for pointing this out. A lot of people will say that Perez is leaving because he has to make room for Vettel and Lance is the boss' son, but when you look at the season so far, you notice that Stroll has a better season than him.

Perez is a good, reliable driver, but there's nothing special about him. I read his statement and I get the feeling that he has decided to leave F1. I think he should try Indycar. He would be closer to home and I'm sure he could find a good drive with his sponsorship money.
 
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BillyBobSenna

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Dec 30, 2010
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Checo is a solid driver, but he sorta falls in the middle ground for me. In other words, he doesn't really do a lot to grab my attention either way on an average race weekend. I don't think my overall F1 experience would change much if he was gone. That sounds mean, but just speaking the truth.

Now, if they replace him with, say, Maldonado...now THAT would change the experience! :laugh:
I agree. Unfortunately, being a nice guy doesn't count for much for getting an F1 seat. Vettel should be an upgrade.
 

Terry Rock

2000RPM
Oct 24, 2009
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Whoa!
Where the heck did that come from?
Perez is the guy who saved this team and he is driving fairly well this season.
Why would you replace him at this stage?
Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
 
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davehenrie

500RPM
Jun 4, 2017
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+ Years of experience working with Red Bull and Ferrari. I think being F1 driver is not just about driving but also car/tech development and team building.
How's that years of experience been working out helping Ferrari out of the dumpster?
(PS) If I were Ferrari, and wanted to put a historic livery on their car to celebrate 1000 F1 races, I'd postpone the 'celebration' til they had a car that might challenge for the first two rows....
 

MrWaflz55

25RPM
Dec 20, 2019
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How's that years of experience been working out helping Ferrari out of the dumpster?
(PS) If I were Ferrari, and wanted to put a historic livery on their car to celebrate 1000 F1 races, I'd postpone the 'celebration' til they had a car that might challenge for the first two rows....
Ferrari were getting 2nd and 3rd in the championship consistently since 2015 with Vettel in the car up until the 2020 season. Certainly not the "dumpster".

The SF1000 was kind of screwed over by an FIA investigation resulting in a significant loss of horsepower (Ferrari maintains the secrecy surrounding the deal is due to copyright laws but I still have my suspicions), COVID-19 hitting Italy particularly hard and the FIA locking car development for two years. This recent spell of awful performance has kind of been born from circumstance rather than just Vettel being a bad driver in my opinion.
 
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ianthem

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I agree. Unfortunately, being a nice guy doesn't count for much for getting an F1 seat. Vettel should be an upgrade.
Vettel, when the car is dialled in, can be brilliantly fast over a single lap, which I think will be the big difference between him and Perez. On top of it, he's spent most of his career in top teams observing how they do things and he can provide insight for the team into what that's like, as well as his strategic chops. He is an upgrade over Perez, but obviously I don't think Stroll is a better driver.

I expect Perez to Sauber or Haas. Both those teams could use him and his wealth of experience, especially in the coming 2022 season. I feel like no team wants to be stuck with an inexperienced development driver while having completely new cars.
 
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